You’ve written a book, let’s talk social media
Whether you have a new book hitting stores, or are just starting on your manuscript, social media is the best way to get the word out there.
There’s a lot of advice out there on how to promote your book on social media. A lot of it is contradictory, outdated, or for accounts with already big followings.
Most of your audience probably isn’t looking to buy your book.
It’s why a lot of people are anxious or unsure how to approach it.
Even though some of your audience doesn’t want to read your book, they still want to hear about it.
Those same people can still care about it, celebrate with you, and spread the word to potential readers.
Social media is about real connections.
If you’re not talking about your book on social media, you’re missing out.
And so are your potential readers.
Devony Looser says,“Publishers care deeply about audience, impact, and sales, because most are run like businesses, whether or not they are for-profit operations…But publishers are increasingly seeking authors who are not only ideas-smart but marketplace-of-ideas smart.”
Let’s talk about what you need before you share your new book on social media. Because the time to start talking is now.
At the manuscript stage? Perfect.
You’re ahead of the game.
Check out this post from Caroline Barron, who just sent off their proposal.
To top off this productive Monday, I have just sent my book proposal to the publishers. I know, I still have to write the book, but getting past this first hurdle and committing to what it looked like has been a huge psychological barrier for me. #ecrchat #getyourmanuscriptout— Caroline Barron (@Caroline_Barron) April 8, 2019
I’m Jennifer van Alstyne. Welcome to The Social Academic, my blog about managing your online image in the academic world.
Your social media audience and your book audience
The first step to sharing your book on social media is figuring out who your current audiences are. Perhaps in your case, it’s about who your audience should be.
Some of you are saying – “My book is on this obscure topic that only specialists in my field want to read,” and that’s OK.
It’s important to recognize that your book audience, and your social media audience are different.
And, your social media audiences are likely made up of different people depending on the platform. For instance, LinkedIn is often professional network, while Facebook tends to be where people connect with family and friends.
You probably determined the best audience(s) for your book when submitting your proposal, or by talking with your editor.
Before writing a bunch of posts about your book, take time to consider your social media audiences.
Ask yourself these questions before planning posts about your book
- What social media platforms am I on?
- Who tends to encounter my posts on each platform?
- Where is my most dedicated audience?
- Who is already inclined to share my book? i.e. colleagues, family, and friends
Describing your book for social media
You need to be able to share what your book is about to a general audience.
So, aside from your audiences, it’s important to consider the best ways to talk about your book.
Describing your book on social media isn’t necessarily about ‘hooking’ your readers with witty copy.
Clarity is more important than a good hook. Readers need to understand what your book is about.
Write a description of your book in language a general audience can understand.
It can share the general premise of the book.
Or it can share a specific point with enough detail an unfamiliar reader can hold onto.
Always assume your social media audience doesn’t know a whole lot about your book or book topic.
Also assume your audience hasn’t seen the last however many posts you’ve written about your book.
You can write a post that helps people learn about your book, and directs potential readers to buy it.
Because people tend to miss these vital steps
- Define your audience
- Describe your book
…they tend to miss the information your social media audience needs to connect.
Caroline Barron will be tweeting about her new book, which is awesome.
A huge barrier that I’m now over! So, to concentrate on the writing of the thing now…expect much panic tweeting/I hate writing tweeting/send gin tweeting over the next 8 months!#yearofthebook #getyourmanuscriptout #ecrchat #firstbook #thesistomonograph— Caroline Barron (@Caroline_Barron) April 8, 2019
It’s important to remember to include the information people need about the book itself too.
This post is great. It would benefit more from including the subject, or even working title of the book.
That way, more people know what you’re working on.
And, it always helps to have a website where you can host more info and build an email list of potential readers.
Download my free guide to Announce your New Book on Social Media below.
Which social media platform do you enjoy the most?
I’m taking over the @AcademicChatter Twitter account on May 2nd from 12pm-8pm CST.
A few months ago, I asked you which social media platform you enjoyed the most.
But does it surprise you to learn people on Facebook and Instagram preferred Instagram?
Join me as I takeover @AcademicChatter to talk about best practices for enjoying social media.
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Be sure to grab my free guide to announce your new book on social media
This guide walks you through natural times to share your book on social media at each stage of the process.
I make these resources just for you.
Join my community, The Social Academic, to get exclusive access to this guide.
Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and public relations consultant. She founded The Academic Designer, LLC to help academics, researchers, and writers control their online presence and share their work with the world.
She holds a B.A. from Monmouth University in English, and an M.F.A. from Naropa University in Writing & Poetics where she was the Jack Kerouac Fellow. Jennifer also holds an M.A. from University of Louisiana at Lafayette in Literature and Cultural Studies where she was one of four master’s fellows and a finalist for the Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award.